Analysis of a rare progeria variant of Barrier-to-autointegration factor in Drosophila connects centromere function to tissue homeostasis

Tingting Duan, Srikantha Thyagarajan, Anastasia Amoiroglou, Gregory C. Rogers, Pamela K. Geyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF/BANF) is a nuclear lamina protein essential for nuclear integrity, chromatin structure, and genome stability. Whereas complete loss of BAF causes lethality in multiple organisms, the A12T missense mutation of the BANF1 gene in humans causes a premature aging syndrome, called Néstor-Guillermo Progeria Syndrome (NGPS). Here, we report the first in vivo animal investigation of progeroid BAF, using CRISPR editing to introduce the NGPS mutation into the endogenous Drosophila baf gene. Progeroid BAF adults are born at expected frequencies, demonstrating that this BAF variant retains some function. However, tissue homeostasis is affected, supported by studies of the ovary, a tissue that depends upon BAF for stem cell survival and continuous oocyte production. We find that progeroid BAF causes defects in germline stem cell mitosis that delay anaphase progression and compromise chromosome segregation. We link these defects to decreased recruitment of centromeric proteins of the kinetochore, indicating dysfunction of cenBAF, a localized pool of dephosphorylated BAF produced by Protein Phosphatase PP4. We show that DNA damage increases in progenitor germ cells, which causes germ cell death due to activation of the DNA damage transducer kinase Chk2. Mitotic defects appear widespread, as aberrant chromosome segregation and increased apoptosis occur in another tissue. Together, these data highlight the importance of BAF in establishing centromeric structures critical for mitosis. Further, these studies link defects in cenBAF function to activation of a checkpoint that depletes progenitor reserves critical for tissue homeostasis, aligning with phenotypes of NGPS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Cell division
  • Checkpoint kinase 2
  • Chromosome segregation
  • DNA damage response
  • Disease variants
  • Oogenesis
  • Premature aging
  • Tissue homeostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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